When it comes to mowing your lawn, you want to make sure you have the best possible equipment to get the job done quickly, efficiently, and without any issues. That’s why a zero-turn lawn mower can be such a great option – it gives you the power and maneuverability you need to get the job done right.
But with so many different zero-turn lawn mowers on the market, it can be tough to know which one is right for you. That’s why we’ve put together this comprehensive guide – to provide you with everything you need to know in order to choose the best mower for your needs.
In this guide, we’ll look at zero-turn lawn mowers from every angle, including the different types of riding lawn mowers to see if a ZTR model is best for you, the top aspects to consider before buying one, and the 10 best zero-turn lawn mowers for your lawn. Let’s jump right in!
What is a Zero Turn Mower?
A Zero-Turn Lawn Mower is a riding lawn mower that has a zero-degree turning radius – meaning it can rotate in place without moving forwards or backwards. This makes them incredibly maneuverable and perfect for large, open areas like yards and golf courses.
There are many benefits to using a zero turn lawn mower, including:
-They are much easier to maneuver than traditional riding lawn mowers, so you can save time when mowing your lawn.
-They have a smaller turning radius, so you can mow closer to obstacles and get into tight spaces more easily.
-They often have larger cutting decks than traditional riding lawn mowers, so you can finish mowing your lawn more quickly.
-They usually have better fuel efficiency than traditional riding lawn mowers, so you can save money on gas.
Types of Riding Lawn Mowers
Before we get into the specifics of zero-turn lawn mowers, let’s first take a look at the different types of riding lawn mowers that are available on the market. This will help you understand some of the key differences between these mowers and decide if a ZTR model is right for you.
The rear-engine riding lawn mowers are considered to be entry-level riding mowers. They compensate for weight and power to improve mobility and energy, and are therefore lighter on average than front-engine models. Their engines are also smaller – typically between 11 and 15 horsepower – and are located on the back of the machine.
Rear-engine mowers typically have a smaller cutting deck than front-engine riders, which makes them better suited for smaller yards. They’re also easier to maneuver than front-engine riders, which can be a big advantage if you have a lot of obstacles in your yard.
Front Engine Mowers
Front-engine riders have a larger cutting deck than rear-engine riders, which makes them better suited for larger yards. They’re also more powerful than rear-engine riders, so they can handle tougher terrain and tall grass.
A front-mounted engine usually has 18 to 26 horsepower, enabling it to provide power for a huge cutting deck of up to 54 inches, and a heavy workload. These mowers are typically more expensive than rear-engine ones, and are most useful in commercial or agricultural settings.
Mulching riding lawn mowers have special sharp blades that chop up the grass as they cut, which creates a fine mulch that can be used to fertilize your lawn. Mulching mowers typically have a rear-discharge design, which means that the grass is discharged out the back of the mower.
Mulching lawn mowers are a great option if you’re looking for an environmentally friendly way to fertilize your lawn. They’re also great for keeping your lawn looking neat and tidy, as there’s no need to rake up the grass clippings after you mow.
The placement of the cutting deck is pretty much the only distinction between a riding lawn mower and a lawn tractor. The cutting deck in riding lawn mowers is positioned in the front, whereas it is positioned in the middle on lawn tractors.
Additionally, lawn tractors have efficient and large engines with a cutting deck width of up to 48 inches, allowing them to complete any difficult yard task in a timely manner. Furthermore, lawn tractors’ robust engines allow them to tow attachments.
Zero Turn Mowers
Zero-turn riding lawn mowers, as their name would imply, have a turning radius of zero inches, allowing them to turn 180 degrees exactly on the spot when necessary. This makes them one of the most maneuverable riding mowers because they can spin readily in confined areas.
A zero-turn riding lawn mower helps you to cut your yard fast while maintaining its best appearance. It’s also quick enough to go through acres in a matter of minutes.
Mid-mount Zero Turn Mowers
A mid-mount zero-turn lawn mower has the cutting deck installed under the operator’s seated position and ahead of the engine. The engine, power train, and drive wheels are at the rear of the vehicle.
The operator rides above and in front of the drive wheels on a zero-turn-radius pivot point. A mule belt links the clutch at the rear of the mower to the cutting deck.
Front Mount Zero Turn Mowers
A front-mount zero-turn mower, also called an out-front deck mower, places the cutting deck ahead of the operator’s seated position. The operator sits in close proximity to the zero-turn radius pivot point, which is near to but above the engine. The deck may be effortlessly removed and replaced with alternative tools like dozer blades, snow throwers, and rotary brooms.
If you only have a few trees, fences, and other objects to mow around that need hand-held trimming, a mid-mount mower will suffice. If you want to be able to reach underneath and around obstacles, then a front-mount mower – which has an out-front low-profile cutting deck – gives you more versatile and faster work.
A zero-turn mower with a front-mounted engine can also perform other ground maintenance operations such as snow removal. With just one engine to maintain, the mower may be used all year and might save money on maintenance and the need for extra pieces of stand-alone equipment.
Other types of lawn mowers
There are more than just riding lawn mowers. Here is a quick list of any other main types of lawn mower, like push lawn mowers, reel mowers, and robot lawn mowers.
A push lawn mower, sometimes known as a walk-behind lawn mower, is a rotary lawn mower that runs with either a gas-powered engine or electricity via a mains electric cord connection or a cordless battery.
A push lawn mower is typically one that must be pushed ahead by hand in order for it to advance, even if it’s powered by gas or electricity. On the other hand, a walk-behind mower is one that is “self-propelled”, meaning it propels itself forward while you steer it.
Reel lawn mowers are the traditional style of lawn mower and they work by using a series of blades that spin as you push the mower. Reel mowers are great for small lawns or if you’re looking for an eco-friendly option, as they don’t use any gas or electricity.
Robotic Lawn Mowers
A robotic lawn mower is an autonomous robot used to cut lawn grass. It includes sensors, GPS, and a cutting blade.
Buyer’s Guide: What to Consider
In this buyer’s guide, we’ll look at some of the key things you need to think about before buying and starting up your zero-turn riding lawn mower.
Yard Size and Terrain Type
Zero-turn riding mowers are ideal for large lawns with complex landscaping. If you have a small lawn, you may be better off with a push mower or a smaller riding lawn mower, as that will save you a lot of money.
They’re also great for hilly or uneven terrain, as their wide turning radius and low center of gravity make them highly maneuverable, although they, like almost all riding lawn mowers, perform better on flat land.
ZTR riding lawn mowers are best for large plots of land that have many obstacles around which you need to carefully maneuver.
Gas vs. Electric
If you’re in the market for a new ZTR mower, you may be wondering whether a gas or electric model is right for you.
Gas models have more power and can run for longer periods of time without needing to be recharged, making them a good choice for large properties. If you have a small yard, an electric model may be sufficient. However, if you have a large property, you’ll need a gas model with enough power to get the job done.
Electric models are more environmentally friendly and emit zero emissions, making them a good choice for those who are interested in reducing their carbon footprint.
Additionally, gas models tend to be more expensive than electric models, but they may be worth the investment if you have a large property that requires a lot of mowing. Electric models are typically less expensive to operate and maintain, making them the better choice for those on a tight budget.
The cutting width of a mower is the width of the path that the mower cuts with each pass. The wider the cutting width, the fewer passes you’ll need to make, and the faster you’ll be able to mow your lawn.
However, a wider cutting width also means that the mower is larger and more difficult to maneuver.If you have a small lawn, you won’t need a mower with a large cutting width. However, if you have a large lawn, you’ll want to choose a mower with a cutting width that’s appropriate for the size of your property.
The cutting width is also an important consideration if you have obstacles in your yard that you need to mow around.
The horsepower (HP) of a mower determines how much power it has. The more horsepower a mower has, the more challenging terrain it can handle and the faster it can mow. If you have a small lawn with few obstacles, you won’t need a mower with a lot of horsepower.
However, if you have a large lawn with challenging terrain, you’ll want a mower that has enough horsepower to get the job done. In addition, a mower with higher horsepower will be able to more easily handle add-ons and other accessories that you might need to use.
Brushed vs. Brushless Motor
The majority of electric lawn mowers available on the market today are equipped with brushed or brushless motors, which are motors that do or do nor use brushes to provide the electricity for them. The majority of these machines have previously been built using brushed electric motors, but in recent years brushless motors have grown in popularity.
Brushed motors are less expensive to manufacture than brushless motors, so they’re typically found in lower-priced mowers. However, brushed motors require more maintenance than brushless motors and tend to be less durable. Brushless mowers have more efficient operation, increased performance and power, and tend to mow more quietly than brushed motors.
The weight of the lawn mower is important to think about because you don’t want to get a lawn mower that is too heavy for you to operate. You also don’t want a lawn mower that is so light that it will tip over easily. The weight of the lawn mower will also affect how well it cuts grass and how much stress it puts on the engine.
A normal riding lawn mower may weigh anywhere between 350 and 700 pounds on average. A zero turn mower is usually on the higher end of that, around 600 pounds in weight.
When it comes to zero-turn mowers, safety is always a major concern. After all, these powerful machines can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour, making them capable of causing serious injury if not used properly. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help ensure your safety while riding a zero-turn mower.
First, a larger deck size will give you more visibility and help you avoid obstacles more easily. Second, make sure the mower has a comfortable seat with proper back support. This will help reduce fatigue and keep you alert while operating the mower.
Finally, consider investing in a model with rollover protection. This will provide an extra layer of safety in case of an accident. By keeping these factors in mind, you can choose a zero-turn mower that will offer a safe and enjoyable experience.
There are many brands that offer high-quality zero-turn mowers. Some of the most popular brands include Husqvarna, Cub Cadet, RYOBI, Ariens, Toro, John Deere, and Craftsman.
Feel free to search these brands online in order to find the perfect model for your needs. You can also read customer reviews to get an idea of what other people think about the different brands and models on the market.
Top 10 Zero-Turn Mowers
Now that we’ve gone over some of the things you need to consider before buying a zero-turn mower, it’s time to take a look at some of the best models on the market.
#1. Husqvarna Z254 Zero-Turn Mower
- 26 HP Kohler engine provides reliable startups and a max speed of 6.5 MPH
- A patent-pending park brake system automatically activates or deactivates as the steering levers are moved outward or inward
- Air induction mowing technology draws air from the top and bottom of the deck, improving grass and delivering a superior cut
The Husqvarna Z254 Zero-Turn Mower is one of the most well-known items produced by Husqvarna, which is one of the world’s largest and most renowned outdoor power tool companies. This implies that the Z254 is authentic, and we would even go as far to say it’s presently the finest Zero-Turn riding lawn mower available to buy.
With a cutting deck width of 54 inches and a steel reinforcement for greater strength and durability, it’s ideal for any homeowner who wants to cut large amounts of grass in a short period of time. A spring-operated mechanism with a simple control within reach of the operator allows you to lift and lower the cutting deck.
The 26 HP riding mower’s cutting deck is powered by state-of-the-art air induction mowing technology, which draws air from both the top and bottom of the deck to produce a superior cut by increasing grass lift.
It’s one of the most user-friendly and pleasant lawn mowers available, with an ergonomic touch control panel right at your fingertips, a huge anti-slip footrest surface, and a detachable foot plate for easy repair. Additionally, a new, patent pending automatic park brake system instantly activates and deactivates as steering levers are adjusted, making this mower safer and easier to use than previous versions.
#2. RYOBI 42 in. 75 AH Battery Electric Riding Zero Turn Mower
- 100 Ah Batteries
- 4 High-Powered Brushless Motors
- Cut up to 2.5 acres on a single charge
The RYOBI 42 in. 75 AMP Battery Electric Riding Zero Turn Mower is a fully electric mower that can cut up to 2.5 acres on a single battery charge and has no spark plugs, belts, oil changes, filters, or gasoline required. The 42-inch cutting deck has two precision cut steel blades and 12 different positions that may be adjusted manually, ensuring an accurate and tailored cut for your grass every time.
These 4 high-powered brushless motors power 2 turbines with unending torque to provide superior force and performance in the blades and drivetrain.
The RYOBI ZTR is also designed with comfort and convenience in mind. It’s not only quieter, CARB compliant, and easier to maintain because it’s entirely electric, but it also has a large footrest area, two cupholders, and four-position seat adjustment, allowing you to spend your time mowing comfortably.
The mower also has a convenient rear charge port and overnight charging, with the control panel allowing you to operate everything on the riding lawn mower from your fingertips – control the headlights, activate cruise control, check battery levels, and even charge phones. This zero-turn mower is able to maneuver within really tight spaces and around corners and obstacles with its responsive and intuitive handling.
#3. Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2 V-Twin Gas Zero Turn Mower
The Cub Cadet Ultima ZT2 V-Twin Gas Zero Turn Mower is a powerful, versatile gas-powered lawn mower has a 3-gallon fuel tank and a twin-cylinder engine that allow you to mow for hours. The large 60-inch cutting deck has three sharpened blades that cut yards up to 5 acres in size quickly. This zero turn mower also includes pneumatic tires and features reverse mowing capabilities of up to 3.5 MPH.
The mower weighs 752 pounds and has a maximum speed of 7.5 MPH. However, in order to get better traction on rough or hilly terrain, you may reduce the velocity to 4.9 MPH. In order to more easily cut over difficult terrain without the blades striking the uneven ground, rocks, or other problems, lower or raise the cutting deck height. This zero turn mower has a cup holder and twin LED headlights for mowing in low light.
#4. Husqvarna MZ61 Zero Turn Mower
- Husqvarna 61 in. zero-turn lawn mower from the MZ series delivers commercial-grade power and amazing ergonomics
- 27 HP Briggs Endurance engine provides reliable startups and high ground speeds
- Fabricated 11-gauge steel cutting deck offers an excellent 54 in. cut with an ergonomically designed deck lifting system for quick and easy adjustments from the operator’s seat
If you need to operate on difficult terrain, the Husqvarna MZ61 Zero Turn Mower is our top ZTR riding lawn mower pick. For the user, it offers a pleasant, smooth, and safe ride. It’s big and robust, with a 6-inch wide caster wheel design and commercial-grade hydraulic system that ensures it won’t collapse or wobble when moving about on uneven terrain.
Husqvarna’s newest ride-on lawn mower, with a 49cc engine and automatic safety features such as the Husqvarna Roll Over Protection System (ROPS), has a smooth ride experience and increased protection. The super wide cutting deck is 61 inches wide, and the zero turn hydraulic wheel-drive system allows the riding mower to turn directly around its axis.
In addition to safety and ease of use, the mower is also extremely pleasant to operate. The MZ61 includes an ergonomically designed deck lifting system, pedal-powered operations, and dual-lever steering with foam padded handles and viscoelastic dampers to reduce vibrations in the levers, as well as EVC technology and deep cushioned and bolstered seats.
Lastly, this lawn mower also has a 9-bushel collecting system, adjustable tracking for a straight line cut, and a 24 HP Kawasaki engine that is both powerful and quiet.
#5. Ariens Ikon XD V-Twin Dual Hydrostatic 42-in Zero-Turn Mower
The Ariens Ikon XD V-Twin Dual Hydrostatic 42-in Zero-Turn Mower is the next ZTR lawn mower on our list. The engine, which has a displacement of 603 cc and produces 18 HP, is equipped with cast iron cylinder liners that keep it running smoothly for a long time and automatic compression release for an automatic and simple start-up every time you push the button.
Its triple-bladed 42-inch mower deck is composed of 11 gauge steel and gives the grass a perfect cut while also optimizing airflow to prevent overheating or clogging.
The Twin EZT hydrostatic Transaxles design of the IKON XD provides a smooth ride when mowing even when mowing over and around hills or in confined places. The high back seat, armrests, and cushioned control arms aid in the reduction of mowing vibrations.
#6. Craftsman 17ARFACT091 46-Inch Hydrostatic Gas Zero Turn Mower
The Craftsman 17ARFACT091 46-Inch Hydrostatic Gas Zero Turn Mower is next on our list. With this strong Craftsman zero turn lawn mower, you can reclaim your yard from the overgrown grass. The gas-powered version has a 3.5-gallon gas tank and a 23 HP twin-cylinder engine to operate the dual cutting blades.
The 23 HP engine is powerful enough to drive the mower at speeds of up to 6.5 MPH; however, one fact that should be mentioned that the zero turn mower isn’t intended for cutting slopes steeper than 15 degrees.
This grass mower’s cutting deck is 46 inches wide and may be adjusted in height from 1.25 to 3.75 inches tall. This lawn mower has a cushioned, high-back chair for more user comfort while mowing, as well as a twin hydrodynamic transmission for better control and traction.
#7. John Deere Z375R Gas Dual Zero-Turn Riding Mower
The John Deere Z375R Gas Dual Zero-Turn Riding Mower is ideal for mowing on difficult, uneven, or hilly ground since the deep treads in the air-filled pneumatic tires allow it to grip the surface with ease. With its larger 11-gauge steel 54-inch adjustable cutting deck and three strong cutting blades, this mower is ideal for multiple yards or properties with a total area of more than 4 acres.
The zero turn mower has a modest 2.1-gallon fuel tank and a smooth-running twin-cylinder engine with a 25 HP power output that runs on gasoline. A cup holder, cushioned armrests, and a plush seat for maximum comfort complete the package. Although it does weigh a pretty hefty 624.5 pounds, it has a maximum forward speed of 7 MPH and a maximum backward speed of 3.5 MPH.
#8. Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52″ Zero Turn Mower
- This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with...
The Ariens 915223 IKON-X 52″ Zero Turn Mower is a powerful riding mower that can handle difficult, uneven, and hilly terrain as well as high, unruly grass. It’s ideal for a professional landscaper or gardener, or for someone with a large plot of land.
It boasts a 23 HP, 726 cc Kawasaki FR V-Twin engine that is long-lasting, robust, and has big front and rear wheels.
The 4.5-inch-deep, 11-gauge steel cutting deck on this mower is 52 inches wide and provides a smooth ride over any surface in your garden. This, combined with the full tubular steel frame and cushioned rear seats and armrests, ensures that you will have a smooth ride no matter what type of ground you are mowing over.
The IKON-X also has a commercial-grade, 4-point dual-arm hanging system and dial-operated cutting height selection, both of which provide a unique grass mowing experience every time.
#9. Toro TimeCutter V-Twin Gas Zero-Turn Riding Mower
The Toro TimeCutter V-Twin Gas Zero-Turn Riding Mower is ideal for small properties with flat terrain, such as those with a yard that is 2 acres or less and contains a few obstructions.
The two strong cutting blades may be adjusted both up and down, and they are safely stored beneath the 42-inch wide 13-gauge steel cutting deck and can be used with a bag, a side-discharge chute, or a mulching function.
This gasoline-powered mower has a three-gallon fuel tank and a 22.5 HP twin-cylinder engine. It weighs 502 pounds when moving forward and 3 MPH in reverse, and it has a top speed of 7 MPH. The mower’s control levers have extra cushioning to decrease hand strain and provide a better grip surface, allowing you to keep control of the machine at all times.
#10. Ariens 991151 Apex 60″ 24 HP Kawasaki FR730 V Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower
- This refurbished product is tested and certified to look and work like new. The refurbishing process includes functionality testing, basic cleaning, inspection, and repackaging. The product ships with...
The Ariens 991151 Apex 60″ 24 HP Kawasaki FR730 V Twin Zero-Turn Riding Mower is the next zero-turn riding lawn mower on our list. This riding mower’s quality is professional, and its toughness and strength set it apart from the competition.
The engine is a 24 HP motor that can easily transport the device up any hill while keeping most of the power. The cutting deck is 60 inches broad and features a steel body that is incredibly robust and long-lasting.
The mowing deck may be adjusted to three different settings: mulching, bagging, and side discharge, and it includes fifteen cutting height settings for you to easily cut grass at various heights.
This unique lawn mower has three-blade engagement on the aluminum spindles for better control, as well as hydrostatic transmission for difficult-to-cut tall grass.
In conclusion, the top zero-turn lawn mower for you will depend on a variety of factors. Consider your yard size and terrain, gas or electric preference, cutting width, horsepower, and tires when making your decision.
Also, be sure to read reviews before purchasing to get an idea of what other customers looked for when choosing their mower. We say the best choice would be the Husqvarna Z254 Zero-Turn Mower, however any of the listed models are great, and some other reviews might have a different ranking.
Lastly, consider the top brands in the industry to get the best quality product. Now, what are you waiting for? Get out there and find the perfect zero-turn mower for your needs! Thanks for reading and good luck!